Leadership by Example

Nathan - Collegeville, Pennsylvania
Entered on October 21, 2011
Themes: work
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“The point is not to become a leader. The point is to become yourself, and to use yourself completely – all your gifts, skills and energies – to make your vision manifest. You must withhold nothing. You must, in sum, become the person you started out to be, and to enjoy the process of becoming.” (Warren Bennis, On Becoming a Leader).

In his quote, Warren Bennis talks about becoming yourself completely. With this, I like to think that a great leader is someone who has become complete. With all of the styles of leadership that exist, it would be easy to argue that anyone could be an effective leader if only they had the skills to identify their gifts, and put them to effective use. Making your vision manifest is a powerful thing. To do so, you need to have a clear grasp on where your strengths are, and what you want to accomplish in your current situation, which in all honestly, is much easier said than done. Right now, in my life, my vision would be attaining a certain level of leadership. There is a role that is soon to be opening in my workplace that would place me in a leadership role of a small group of my co-workers. It is a role that I am certainly qualified for, although I am not the only person in the running for this one position. My vision is simple at this time, attain that position. Making it manifest however can be the difficult part.

I pride myself on hard work. I believe that if I put all of my efforts in to accomplishing the tasks at hand, my efforts will be noticed, and eventually, when the time arises, they will be rewarded. Sadly, in the common workplace, this is not always the case, others will try to manipulate situations outside of the regular day to day, to purposely make themselves stand out and look impressive. Simply doing a better job than the rest of the staff is not always going to be enough to make oneself stand out. Since being a leader in my workplace is my end goal, I have decided to take a bit of that into my own hands and start to make strides towards having others view me as a leader. I already have a few years on staff, which is more than most of my co-workers, and they will look to me for advice. I have started to really champion that role, and offer my assistance wherever it is needed. I have been putting myself available as a knowledge bank in regards to the workplace, and my efforts have been noticed and appreciated by my co-workers and managers alike.

I do feel that as I help out more in a leadership centered role that I am finding more joy in my job. I think that many of my strengths lie in helping others, whether it be coaching them along at getting better in areas where I have strength, or supporting them to identify their own talent and strength, this is where I find the most happiness at work. This happiness at the work place is certainly something that is new to me, and a large part of this plays into what Warren Bennis said about “withholding nothing.” When I started to withhold less, and take on more responsibility at work, I began to truly enjoy my role in the office.